Christopher Barnes’ first collection LOVEBITES is published by Chanticleer. Each year he reads at Poetry Scotland’s Callender Poetry Weekend. He also writes art criticism which has been published in Peel and Combustus magazines.
Ears prickle and his tongue drips once. Cur at the trattoria is alert. A heavy breath. Shusshing traffic overlays the ruckle of cups on aluminium. Tail away. Yap-Yap! A nylon leash bends the fence. Chair leg scrapes on paving as his nose jabs denim. Kettle-grown mint ruffles in the breeze. He sniffs the table, shuffles to the left. Hairs disentangle, fall. Questioning look in butterscotch eyes. Plod, jump, wriggle, then patient sitting. Assurance is a gesture.
Karl’s strength evaporated when Robbie left. Twelve cushioned years, soured in July. The fling was dumbfounding, upending the future with a deep-echoing blow. Lies showed in posture as well as the voice. A phone that never rings is gratuitous. Daylight awakens the conscience-smitten; yawns are full of reproach.
The sky feigns a vacant pose. Downdrafts w-huh around the crane. Leaves rustle, agitated. Water shimmers to olive, touch-and-go at brick edging. Curving towards the flux, the rowing boat grapples to its purpose. Traction of oar jiggles green slime. Off-white gathers…is pushed away. Damp wood – sudden dip at the stern reflects red. A shudder makes Vvvvvs after slops whorl the paddle’s gusto. The distance tugs an invisible rope. One duck sinks, bobs. Ripples quick-turn into lop-sided grids. Light sees light in a myriad of animated triangles. A once-thrown over stone wraps its memories around sticky algae. Gnats criss-cross their dance, hypnotising a wave. Unseen, a conscious fish pouts a bubble on the surface. There, the predictable roll dissipates.
© 2019 Christopher Barnes